Caring for God’s Creation
by Willem Bodisco Massink
“And God took the human being (man/adam) and put him in the garden of Eden
to till it and keep it.” Genesis 2:15
I have been a gardener of some sort for a long time. I have tilled the land in a variety of places: The Netherlands (birth place), the Caribbean (banana plantation manager), Curacao (Netherlands Antilles), Upstate New York and Fuquay-Varina, NC. Any of these places had its own unique type of soil, requiring its own special way of keeping it to produce good vegetables, fruits and flowers. Indeed, tilling the land and keeping the land is hard work and it can also be quite frustrating and test your farming skills especially when you thought you did the right things and therefore expected good harvesting results, but the yield was only mediocre or even poor. Lately there have been moments when I wanted to throw-up my hands and bury my spade. Enough is enough. But I go on.
The same with doing earth care in a congregation. When the Earth Care Ministry Team was formed at the Kirk of Kildaire Presbyterian in Cary, NC in 2011 there was great enthusiasm. Many individuals joined the effort. Filling out the first Earth Care Congregation’s certification application was fun and a learning experience. During the last seven years, however, this enthusiasm has waned. Maintaining membership on the Ministry Team is a chore. As chair of this Ministry Team there have been moments lately when I have wondered if the efforts were worth it. Is it time to throw in the towel? But caring for God’s creation is ongoing to educate people that tilling and keeping the land is God’s will for “the earth is the Lord’s.” And so, I go on, doing this ministry, hoping that the work in the end will bear fruit.
Prayer: Creator God, we praise and give You thanks for the gift of the land that brings forth the food for all Your living creatures. Forgive us when we forget to be good stewards of the land and guide us in caring for all Your creation.
Rev. Willem Bodisco Massink is an Honorably Retired Presbyterian pastor who lives in Fuquay-Varina, NC. He is a Parish Associate at the Kirk of Kildaire Presbyterian in Cary, NC. He is, among other things, the chair of the Earth Care Ministry Team at this congregation. In the 1980s and early 1990s Rev. Willem Bodisco Massink was Chair of the Board of the Eco-Justice Project at Cornell University in Ithaca, NY. During those years he worked closely with the Rev. Dr. William Gibson, the Director, and they collaborated together on a number of Earth Care and environment related overtures to the GA of the PC(USA).